Sunday, March 29, 2015

Crazy yet Blessed

Crazy yet blessed would be the best way to describe the last few days. 

This little girl had her follow-up checkup with her cardiologist and amazingly the little VSD (tiny hole in her lower chamber of her heart) has closed up!!!  The cardiologist released her from seeing him and her heart is now healed by God!  The EKG was not her favorite but she was a good little patient:)  We have known about this since her birth and frankly the last few years David's cancer has kind of trumped this VSD in her heart.  We have prayed it would close and blessedly it has. 
This is the picture of true friendship.  I signed up for a 5K for Wytheville Community College and roped Misty into doing it with me.  It was a FRIGID 23 degrees but we did it and we finished second and third in our age group!  In full disclosure I must admit there were only three in our age group:) 

After the 5K, we watched Kyles 8th grade Hornets team play their last game.  Mike has coached these boys for five years and he is really going to miss these guys.  Thankfully we will get to keep cheering them on in their high school careers but we have really been blessed with some great memories. 
After the last game, we headed to church Saturday night for the coffee house to benefit the youth group and our summer mission trip.  It was amazing!  There were decadent desserts, local coffee, and some amazing talent!  Here is Bryan singing some Beatles tunes.  I am not a baker but I did manage to make some peanut butter brownie cups. 

David of course loved the desserts and sweets and somehow sweet talked Victoria into letting him take a "piece" of cake home with him!  Look how huge!!!  Not only do we have some wonderful talent at church, but we have some wonderful dessert makers as well. 

This afternoon after church we had our annual Down Syndrome Easter egg hunt!  I had this cutie in preschool last year and it was awesome to see her again!  She is adorable and full of spunk and personality. 

Of course Angie had to get in on the picture as well!  Angie is the life of any party!  She is hilarious!!  She was talking about her hot new boyfriend and her love of the show Dance Moms.  She and I are close in age and I love me some Angie!!  Our Down Syndrome events are the best party in town. 

Not only should you notice David's outfit of choice -red shorts and burgundy basketball jersey, but notice that big brother Kyle was helping him find eggs.  Kyle was sweet and patient enough to not only hide the eggs, but then follow after David carrying his basket for him. 

The lighting in this picture is terrible but here is a picture of our gang! We are so blessed with awesome families in our Down Syndrome group. 

This picture makes me smile.  At our Down Syndrome events, we always have awesome food and today we had sandwiches, brownies, jello jigglers, and ice cream sundaes!  Mike and Caroline sat and chatted for the longest time about life.  She is a 7th grader like Kyle and she is precious.  She told Mike that her boyfriend is his son!  Kyle and Caroline has been together since kindergarten and I love to hear Kyle tell us Caroline stories from school. 
The last few days have been full of activities but between Hope's awesome news from the cardiologist, to our egg hunt with our awesome Down Syndrome group, basketball, a chilly 5K, church, and the awesome coffee house at church we are blessed.  God is so very good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Do You Believe?

This afternoon I was given a wonderful gift of one-on-one time with my oldest.  We were originally scheduled to see the movie Do You Believe with the youth group after school and I was slated to be a chaperone.  I had a babysitter lined up for Hope and David and Wednesdays are Mike's teaching days. 

Then Kyle's youth group leader got sick and the plans had to change.  I decided last minute to just take Kyle to the movie and have some precious time with just him.  Thirteen is a HARD age-he is a great kid but he is in the middle of puberty.  His voice dropped just about a month ago and he looks more like a grown man now than a boy.  Typical for teens, he would rather spend time in his man cave than with dear ole mom.  I am no longer allowed to take pictures of him and it feels harder for me to connect with him. 

So off to the movie we went and we were both in awe of this powerful movie.  It gave us a great springboard to have a conversation about matters of faith as we chatted about the different characters in the movie. 

What a blessing this afternoon was.  I love the chance to spend one-on-one time with each of my children.  Because of our schedules I have lots of time with Hope, and even with David but between Kyle's sports activities and busy schedule, I do not have as many opportunities with Kyle.  Sitting in that theater this afternoon felt like pure bliss.  There were only a handful of folks in the entire place and the movie was AMAZING!!  Kyle and I got to spend precious time together talking about the movie and some upcoming things in our lives like David's next scan.  What a gift to step into a dark theater and block out the world for a few hours and focus on a strong and intense movie about Jesus. 

Parenting is hard.  It is a hard and long marathon.  You can never rest on your laurels.  Parenting requires prayers, diligence, consistency, and time.  Lots and lots of time to connect and pour all the love and hope in Jesus that you can in a very short amount of time.  Mike and I take our parenting roles straight from the bible and they involve us training up our children.  Training takes immense time and investment but sitting with my first born today in a theater reminded me that it is all worth it.  My desperate desire is that our children will grow up and know, love, and serve Jesus all the days of their lives.   Today I was thankful that my sweet thirteen year old agreed and hopefully enjoyed this awesome date movie as much as this Momma did. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

JMU Madithon!!

We have had a fun little getaway this weekend to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia to help those students raise money for UVA Children's Hospital.  We are a Children's Miracle Network Family and we love and are so honored to participate in events to raise money and awareness for the Children's Hospital.  After all that UVA did for our David it is really the least we can do. 

Pardon the wrinkles around my eyes (yikes-when did that happen?) but the kids were so excited for a weekend in a hotel!!  Mike and Kyle had a baseball tournament, so GG rode along with us. 
If you are ever near Staunton, there is a little family-owned restaurant named Mrs. Rowes that is awesome.  Wow.  We ate lunch on the way to JMU there.  The bakery is to die for.  We did not partake in any bakery goods but wow they looked beautiful and yummy. 

It has been years since I have been on JMU's campus, and we were really impressed!  It was pretty with lots of purple everywhere:) Here is David with the Duke. 

The students danced from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. to raise money for UVA children's hospital.  Here are all the miracle kids that were there for the event.  It still blows my  mind that my son fought cancer.  Seeing his name on something like this still jolts me. 

Hope was very shy and hung on me for most of the event.  She did love to dance with me and she did let go of my leg enough to play balloon with some of the college girls.

This picture makes me smile because here are our fellow cancer warriors that are also miracle kids.  Tyler is on the left and he fought retinoblastoma.  He is now finished treatment!!!  He is a crazy good basketball player and dancer:) Beside Tyler, is sweet little Wes who is fighting neuroblastoma.  He is still in treatment but the end is getting so close.  He has handled treatment very well and we will be so happy for him when he is done!!  Next is Anna who fought Leukemia and is also finished with treatment.  She just signed up for kindergarten for next year!  The last little girl on the right is Raygan "Ray Ray" who also fought neuroblastoma.  She has been off treatment for five months and she has scans on April 10th-the same day David does.  Please add Ray Ray to your prayer list for clean scans when you lift up David in prayer please.  We love seeing our UVA family but we do not like seeing them at the hospital for scan days.  These folks are from all over Virginia but we share a bond because they speak our language and know the fear that we all have hidden behind our smiles.  Scans never ever get easier. 

David was of course shy and made now new friends!  Ha!  Actually he played basketball for hours and would get mad if me or GG went over to remind him to drink.  He was in his grove with the college kids and did not need a mom around:)  He was actually a stinker and we had to threaten him a couple of times to participate and to take the necessary photos:)

To introduce each miracle child all the students made a huge line that they could run through to get to the stage.  It was so sweet and of course David loved that! 

All the miracle kids on stage with the Madithon organizers.  It blows me away to think that these students get it and choose to dance for twelve straight hours to raise money for our kids.  Impressive!

Dave of course loved the ladies!!  We danced on an off all day-it was really fun. 

David had several pen pals write to him before the event and Taylor is one of the gals that we got to meet.  Nice to meet you Taylor!! She was the only pen pal we got to meet but all the students were so great with Hope and David.

After playing basketball, dancing, socializing, and raising money the kids were excited to go to our hotel and swim.  Some of the families were leaving and going out to eat together but these two were running on fumes and they needed  a quick swim and dinner before an early bedtime. 
It was a nice getaway this weekend and it is always an awesome thing when lots of money is raised for UVA Children's hospital.  Thanks JMU for dancing for our kids and raising critical funds for the hospital.  You rock!